Business | WABE 90.1 FM

Business

Business news

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Delta Air Lines' baggage claim area display banners saying bags are guaranteed to be delivered within 20 minutes. Delta Air Lines is the first to implement RFID luggage tags to track bags system-wide.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

Your luggage tag may look ordinary, but if you’re flying with Delta Air Lines, it now has a microchip embedded inside. Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines is spending millions on new technology that allows its passengers to track their bags using a smartphone.

At Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the headquarters of Delta Air Lines, Cynthia Tookes of Lithonia, Georgia, who flies once a week to sing with her church choir, said she loves the new feature that allows her to track her bags on the Fly Delta app.

Shops And Restaurants Planned Near Turner Field

Nov 18, 2016
Courtesy of Atlanta Business Journal

Developers could bring new life to a collection of vacant and graffiti-covered buildings near Turner Field —helping fulfill a long-awaited promise to spark investment in neighborhoods around the ballpark.

According to this week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle, the team of private developers working with Georgia State University to redevelop 67 acres including Turner Field and its sprawling parking lots could acquire additional property in the Summerhill neighborhood of Atlanta.

Emory Plans Healthcare Expansion At Interstate-85

Nov 18, 2016
Courtesy of the Atlanta Business Chronicle

Two of Atlanta’s biggest hospital systems are set to create the city’s next healthcare hub at Interstate 85 and North Druid Hills Road.

According to this week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle, Emory University would develop a mixed-use campus on 70 acres at the south side of North Druid Hills in Executive Park with 2.3 million square feet of new development.

via Pixabay

When they’re not treating patients, holding office hours or performing surgeries, many doctors are working second jobs … as inventors. And according to a report in this week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle, it’s paying off.

Some of Atlanta’s oldest buildings are finding new life. The shortage of available space downtown has developers renovating existing office properties. According to this week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle, a 30-story office tower on downtown’s Woodruff Park is set to be converted into a mixed-use project that includes a new hotel.

Philips Arena Overhaul Could Include The ‘Gulch’

Nov 4, 2016
Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena, vs. Brooklyn Nets, Jan. 28, 2015. Hawks won 113-102.
Alison Guillory / WABE

The $192.5 million renovation plan for Philips Arena could also include upgrades to land between Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Underground Atlanta and Centennial Olympic Park. According to this week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle, that includes what some call the "gulch."

The gulch is the property under the Georgia World Congress Center and Philips Arena crisscrossed by railroad tracks.

Atlanta Helps Steer Development Of Driverless Cars

Nov 4, 2016
In this Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, file photo, Uber employees test a self-driving Ford Fusion hybrid car, in Pittsburgh.
AP Photo/Jared Wickerham, File

With its traffic woes, research universities and corporate offices, metro Atlanta seems uniquely positioned to steer the development of driverless vehicle innovation, according to this week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Atlanta Rolls Out Expanded Bike Share Program

Oct 28, 2016
Stephannie Stokes / WABE

If you haven’t seen people riding light blue bicycles in downtown or midtown Atlanta, chances are you will soon.

In June, the city launched its Relay Bike Share Program with 100 bicycles at 10 stations downtown. According to this week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle, by the end of the year, the share program will grow to up to 500 bikes at as many as 70 stations.

A Google Fiber van in Atlanta
Courtesy of Google Fiber

Google Fiber announced this week it's halting operations in cities where the company was in talks to bring in services, but will continue services in cities where it's already launched, like in Atlanta. 

Despite continued service, Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research said the changes could still affect operations here. 

In this July 9, 2012, photograph made using a long exposure, traffic moves along Interstate 75 against the downtown skyline in Atlanta.
David Goldman / Associated Press

Erica Qualls-Battey, general manager of Atlanta’s largest hotel, couldn’t be more pleased. This year, the 1,663-room Atlanta Marriott Marquis is expected to hit 78 percent occupancy, a record for the downtown convention hotel. According to this week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle, over the past five years, metro Atlanta hotels have seen an impressive spike in occupancy.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump answers a question as Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton listens during the presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., Monday, Sept. 26, 2016.
AP Photo/David Goldman

Venture capital invested in Georgia companies is on track to be the lowest amount in four years. According to this week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle, venture dollars raised by Atlanta companies fell 20 percent in the third quarter from the same time last year.

President and CEO of NPR Jarl Mohn during a national road tour of NPR member stations.
John Haas / WABE

President and CEO of National Public Radio Jarl Mohn is on a coast-to-coast road tour of member stations. He stopped in Atlanta recently and spoke with WABE’s "Morning Edition" host Denis O’Hayer on the business model of public radio, digital media and the future of the network.

“I think if you attempt to make everybody happy, you probably fail,” Mohn said. “I think what we have to do is not overly complicate things. We have to think about what sounds good, what sounds right, what fits with our brand and what sounds like the future.”

Mohn said the network isn’t trying to find exact replicas of shows that have new hosts or hosts who are retiring like "A Prairie Home Companion" and "The Diane Rehm Show," but is experimenting with different sounds that fit the brand. He said it will require giving shows longer than the six-month test runs most traditional media outlets allow.  

“It is a hell of a challenge. It’s very difficult to do,” Mohn said. “Because every one of those shows, which are big monster hits, took years to develop. They were not overnight hits. None of them were. They took time to develop. So there are a lot of ideas out there and if we discover that idea tomorrow or this afternoon, it’s probably going to take years before we can really see the success.”

Mohn started his career as a DJ in 1967 before joining MTV as an executive in 1986. He later created E! Entertainment Television, spent time at VH1, CNET and served on the board of XM Radio.

In this Monday, Aug. 31, 2015 photo, a Coke truck delivers Coca Cola at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Ill.
Seth Perlman / Associated Press

A new study has found Atlanta-based Coca-Cola and its main rival, PepsiCo, gave money to nearly 100 national health organizations between 2011 and 2015.

Emory University, the American Cancer Society and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Foundation are among a half-dozen Atlanta-based groups receiving funding from Coca-Cola and PepsiCo.

Atlanta Startup Aims To Reduce Internet ‘Buffering’

Oct 11, 2016

Atlanta-based software startup Haste is raising $2.5 million to reduce a major pain point of the internet.

According to this week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle, the startup, based at the Advanced Technology Development Center at Georgia Tech, is developing technology that it claims will reduce the lag in internet connections that cause stuttering on a video call, or buffering while watching Netflix.

Fulton County leaders cut the ribbon in front of the new Select Fulton office space in the Fulton County Government Center. The new center places the Development Authority and Economic Development Division in one office space.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

There are 14 cities in Fulton County and, if you're a company looking to relocate in or near Atlanta, until recently you might have had each of those cities vying for your business.

Fulton County has had both an economic development division, where people were working to attract new business, and a development authority with the folks working out the details.

Select Fulton County's CEO Alan Nash said it was difficult for business project managers.

“They didn't know who to call, we'd add confusion to the thing," Nash said.

Atlanta Emerges As An Intellectual Property Leader

Sep 26, 2016

Metro Atlanta is emerging as a leader in intellectual property according to this week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Intellectual property, also known as “IP,” includes technology but is more than just technology. It includes a series of four protections for any new idea, innovation or knowledge. There are patents, trade secrets, copyrights and trademarks.

Fox Theatre in Atlanta on Peachtree Street
Allison Guillory / WABE

Metro Atlanta has been steadily adding new performing arts venues. To compete, the Fox Theatre is launching its first new upgrade in decades. According to this week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle, the Fox Theatre plans to add a premium lounge for ticket holders. The new space involves opening the theater’s rooftop to allow patrons to enjoy cocktails and Midtown views.

UCB is the first big pharmaceutical company in the technology hub near Georgia Tech, but it's the 15th innovation center in Tech Square.
Courtesy of the Atlanta Business Chronicle

Smyrna-based pharmaceutical company UCB opened an innovation center in Tech Square on Tuesday.

UCB is the first big pharmaceutical company in the technology hub near Georgia Tech, but it's the 15th innovation center here.

It joins AT&T, Home Depot, Coca-Cola, Delta, Anthem and other big corporations who have established “corporate innovation centers" in Midtown Atlanta.   

‘Fast-Fail’

Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press

From Home Depot to the Secretary of State’s office to Grady Hospital, the Atlanta area has had its share of data breaches.

Why Honeywell Picked Atlanta As Its New Technology Hub

Sep 16, 2016
TGPRN Honeywell / PR Newswire

Metro Atlanta is getting a little crowded, but in a good way. Lately, the area has steadily attracted a series of regional headquarters and IT centers. The latest, Honeywell International. 

According to a report in this week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle, the multinational conglomerate has put Atlanta at the core of its transition from a hardware to a software business with its decision to pick the city for its first North American software development center.

Study Reveals Ga.'s High-Demand Jobs, Workforce Gap

Sep 9, 2016
In this Feb. 27, 2013, file photo, hands type on a computer keyboard in Los Angeles.
Damian Dovarganes, File / Associated Press

Georgia businesses and educators may finally have the information they need to close a jobs gap that’s been affecting the state for years.

According to this week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle, the Metro Atlanta Chamber, working with the Atlanta office of global professional services consultant Accenture PLC, found significant shortages of qualified workers for the jobs in highest demand in Georgia.

In this Aug. 29, 2016 photo, Marilyn Smolenski uses a mock gun to demonstrate how to pull a handgun out of the concealed carry clothing she designs at her home in Park Ridge, Ill.
AP Photo/Tae-Gyun Kim

For decades, women have had few choices when it comes to the clothing they can wear to hide that they're carrying a firearm. They could wear baggy T-shirts or coats, or put it in a purse and hope it didn't get swiped or that they didn't have trouble getting it out in an emergency.

Enter holsters, corsets, camisoles and other clothing designed to be flattering, feminine — and functional — for the pistol-packin' mama crowd.

‘Disco Kroger’ Shopping Center May Spin A New Tune

Sep 2, 2016

The Limelight dance club on Piedmont Road is long gone, but the grocery store in that shopping center where the club used to be is still called the "Disco Kroger." But what happens if or when that Kroger goes away? It’s a possibility, according to this week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle.

New York-based Equity One Inc. (NYSE: EQY) owns the 152,239-square foot shopping center on Piedmont Road, which is formally called Piedmont Peachtree Crossing. Major tenants include Binders, Cost Plus World Market and Starbucks.

It has taken about 15 years, but plans for a new convention hotel at the Cobb Galleria Centre could be ready to move forward.  

Atlanta-based Regent Partners is considering building a 350-room hotel on the campus of the Cobb Galleria Centre. According to this week’s Atlanta Business Chronicle, analysts say the project could help the area attract larger trade shows and compete with nearby cites, like Alpharetta and Atlanta, that are already improving their convention amenities.

Stephen Brashear / Associated Press

 

Chipotle's latest burrito giveaway is for children.

The company is offering free kid's meals on Sundays during the month of September, another attempt to lure back customers spooked by a series of food scares. An E. coli outbreak last year sent Chipotle sales plunging.

Alison Guillory / WABE

Piedmont Healthcare and insurer UnitedHealthcare have reached a deal on a new three-year network agreement, after the two let their previous contract lapse for nearly two months. 

The agreement means the more than 150,000 Piedmont patients who found themselves out of network during the stalemate will likely no longer have to pay more to visit all six of the network’s hospitals and its physicians. Piedmont and United officials said in a joint press release that the agreement is retroactive to July 1 to avoid gaps in patients’ coverage.

EpiPen Drugmaker To Expand Programs To Lower Cost

Aug 25, 2016

Mylan, in the face of heated criticism over price hikes for its EpiPen emergency allergy treatment, is bulking up programs that help patients pay for the drug.

The generic drugmaker laid out a plan on Thursday to expand its patient assistance program and offer $300 savings cards for its EpiPen 2-Pak.

There is no change in the price of the treatment, however, which is what has drawn ire both in Congress and from families that have had to shell out increasingly large sums for the potentially life-saving treatment.

The owner of the last remaining clothing boutique on the Midtown Mile says she’s being forced out for a new restaurant, raising questions about what has long been envisioned as one of Atlanta’s most upscale shopping and dining districts.

Another insurer is pulling its Obamacare plans from the Georgia insurance exchange.

Cigna said it will no longer offer plans on the state's exchange set up through the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, starting in 2017.

In a statement, a spokesperson said, “Cigna is participating in selected public exchanges where we can best support quality, affordable options for our customers. In this case, we haven’t yet defined the most appropriate products that provide this combination and that would be competitive in the Georgia public marketplace.”

Jessica Hill / Associated Press

Health care company Aetna says it's pulling its plans off the individual insurance exchanges in Georgia and 10 other states next year, making it the latest major insurer to deal a blow to President Obama’s signature health care law.

Nationwide, the company says it will shrink its presence from 778 counties to 242 next year, and will continue operating exchange plans in only four states: Nebraska, Virginia, Iowa and Vermont. In Georgia this year, Aetna operated plans in 67 counties.

Pages